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Or should I say, where to start again?

I haven’t actually posted in over a year (eek! has it really been that long??).  And I must admit that I miss it!  I am constantly thinking of things that would make great posts, but real life has simply kept me rather occupied as of late.

However, with the impending arrival of Baby Campbell #2, I am eager to step back up to the plate and continue the chronicles of life in our little household.  I am guessing that there will be lots of share…and perhaps not nearly enough time to do so.  But I would like to try!  If only because I am bound and determined to also publish monthly letters to this new babe, just like I did for Nate.

Speaking of Nate.  In case anyone missed it….he has apparently become a full fledged toddler!  This past week he officially turned two and a half.  That’s 30 whole months since he turned our lives upside down in the most wonderful way!  How did that happen?  Where did the time go?

Although the changes no longer seem to be coming at beak-neck speed, as they did when he was still a baby, he is most definitely developing his own unique sense of being.  Highlights as of late include:

1) He is 95% potty-trained.  Diapers to bed still, but FINALLY telling us when he needs to go potty instead of us constantly asking him if he needs to go (and sometimes dragging him when he says he doesn’t but we know he does);

2) He talks NON-STOP…and loudly at that!  (I could pretend he gets those traits from his handsome father…but we all know I’d be lying shamelessly).  He is essentially a little “me”, or as my mother would like to say (but kindly doesn’t) he is my “payback”.

3) He is all about independence and doing EVERYTHING himself.  Frustrating to deal with at times but also so gratifying to see!

4)  Along with independence, we are finally seeing creative play and the requirement to entertain him has lessened significantly.  So much fun to watch!

Yep, he is definitely growing up, little by little, right before our eyes.  The last few months have been a little bit trying in that Dale has been away on a domestic deployment (helping with the security for the Olympics and Paralympics) since early January.  Nate had a really tough time dealing with Daddy being gone this time, and his tired pregnant Mama had trouble keeping my head above water balancing work and home solo for 2 1/2 months.  I know it won’t be the last time I go it alone and that the next time there will be 2 little ones to worry about, but for the moment I am just exceedingly thankful that Dale will be home in less than 4 days!

So, that should about recap the goings on around here over the past few months.  I promise I will work on getting some pics posted in the near future 🙂

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I know, I know.  More than 2 months I have kept you waiting for a new post from me!  I’m sure you are all anxious to see new Nate pics and find out what we’ve been up to around here over the last little while.  And because I like you all so much I am going to indulge you to the fullest.

So here are the top ten things you didn’t know were going on at the Campbell household:

10.  We’ve been busy busy busy stocking the freezer with healthy meals that are ready to pop in the oven when we get home from work.  This has made my evenings oh-so-much-more enjoyable!

9.  I signed up with Gill and Laurel for a great class at Big Picture Scrapbooking called Library of Memories by Stacey Julian, and I’ve been organizing my iPhoto gallery in preparation.  I can’t wait for class to start on Feb 12th!

8.  I have finished work at 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron and am moving on to a new job at Wing Administration.  I’m kinda sad to be leaving all my fighter pilot friends!

7.  Dale is now a qualified Air Weapons Controller!

6.  We spent an absolutely wonderful week in Comox over Christmas with family and friends…and had a horribly long drawn out trip back home due to mechanical difficulties and weather delays.  Oh well…it was a service flight so the waiting was at least free!

5.  Nate has learned to drink from a cup, eat cereal with a spoon, climb onto chairs, walk down stairs and say the words mama, bye-bye, ok and thank you!

4.  He also decided that diaper changes are no longer fun and putting clothes on is highly over-rated.  I guess it was an inevitable development in the life of a toddler!

3.  Dale and I booked a vacation for 2 to sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and will be leaving the munchkin with his adoring Auntie Gill and somewhat-skeptical Uncle Brandon for a week in March.

2.  We have survived half of a Cold Lake winter complete with mountains of snow, endless weeks of -40 degree temps and all the sunshine you could ever wish for!

1.  I completed my 365 + 1 Photo challenge for 2008 and you can check out all the pics on my Flickr page! (Ther’s a link in my sidebar)

So tha’s what I’ve been up to.  Of course since I haven’t stopped reading bogs – just writing them – I know what most of you have been up to, but feel free to fill me in if you’re not of the blogging persuassion!  I am hoping to get back into the blogging habit over the next few weeks while Dale is away for work and I am working semi-part time (it’s a long story) and then taking a month off to head back to Comox for a visit and some serious girl-time.

Once again, my sincere apologies for deserting you, and I hope you’ll accept these pics of Nate as a peace offering!

playing-peek-with-daddys-h

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I think I was meant to see this today:  “Pisces: You may not think so, but life is exactly as it should be.  Stop complaining and start seeing all of the good things you have going.”

So here is the list I conjured up while attempting to avoid any real work today 🙂

1.  I have a kick ass new house (which I promise I will post pics of soon!)

2.  Said house has a lovely fireplace in the basement which makes everything seem very cosy.

3.  I live in a place where there is a spectacular sunrise and sunset almost every day.  

4.  Someone invented Skype, so even though they are far away I can still see my family whenever I want!

5.  My BFF is also in the military so I can call her for free from work to wish her happy birthday and because we talked about the WCF thingy it totally counts as a work-related call!

6.  My sister also works on a base, and despite the lack of a WCF thingy in her job I can call her sometimes too!

7.  Someone invented Facebook and Blogger so I get to see what all my pals are up too all. the. time.

8.  Even though Dale is away and the nights get really cold here, I have a giant beast of a dog who keeps the other side of the bed warm for me.

9.  My adorable kid will pretty much eat any mediocre meal I put in front of him…even a bowl of peas.

10.  He also goes to sleep without the least bit of fuss at night and wakes up full of smiles and giggles in the morning.  Usually at an acceptable hour.

11.  He doesn’t mind diaper changes, tubbies, getting dressed, being put into his carseatstroller/baby carrier/highchair.  In fact he usually like it.  How lucky am I???

12.  I have my own office at work and get to look out my window at super fast jets every day.  Very cool!

13.  I also have my own parking spot right up by the building.  It may not seem so special now, but I’m betting I’ll be more appreciative when it’s minus 40!  Brrrr.

14.  The CBC Edmonton station has a hilarious show called radioactive that I get to listen to on the way home from work every day.  Always makes me laugh.

15.  Everywhere I go people tell me how cute my kid is.  Then he proves it by flashing them huge grins and giggling.

17.  My fabulous hubby sent me a little sumpin’ sumpin’ in the mail for when he gets home next week.  Nothing like a little anticipation to to make up leaving me to fend for myself shortly after moving me to the end of the earth 😉

18.  Timmies is now on the way to work and at 7:15 there is a lull in the drive thru line-up just in time for me to arrive!

19.  My family and friends are safe and healthy.

20.  We have eachother – despite the ups and downs that may come.

As Corey always says: Life is good! (Even in Alberta!)

We’re just past the so-called longest day of the year and yet there is still nowhere near enough hours in a day to do everything I would like.

And unfortunately for all you faithful blog readers, blogging has been getting the short shift around here the last month or so. Duh –  as if you hadn’t noticed already!

I would love to promise that I’ll get back into the groove soon and have some wonderful witty and interesting posts up for you, but I’m really not sure I can commit to that right now.  As crazy as it is to think about, I head back to work next Tuesday.  Only part time (3 days a week), but it’ll still make for busier days around here.  Plus, Dale is home now (yay!!!! Sooooo happy about that fact!) and I am relishing spending my evenings chillin’ with my hubby, sipping wine on the patio furniture and having long conversations that we have been so desperately missing over the last 6 months.

And then of course there is the dreaded fact that we are moving.  Of course we still have no clue when…although my bets are on for the  first week of September.  And moving, for those of you that are in the know, if a tonne of work!  We have been organizing and purging almost non-stop for the last week already and I still feel like we’ve barely grazed the surface of the things that need to happen.

I’m also back at running with my yummy mummies.  Which is fabulous but time consuming by the time you pack up baby and stroller and lug them to the running spot, set everyone up, run for 45 minutes, unload babies, strength train and stretch, let babies play and then repack the car to go home.  So worth it (I am finally back into pre-pregnancy clothes and 5lbs below pre-pregnancy weight! Woot!!) …but time consuming.

So that’s where I’m at.  I would also love to post some of the great pics I took while we were in Ontario, but that would require the time to sort through about 1200 photos in iPhoto to determine which ones are keepers and which ones are trash.  Sitting on the computer when it’s gorgeous and sunny outside is quite low on my list of “things I want to do” this week!

So hence the *sigh*.

*Sigh* I wish there was more time in a day

*Sigh* I am so lucky that the only real worries in my life are whether to edit my digital photos or spend the time taking more photos of my adorable son and wonderful husband.

*Sigh* My life is good.

Just very very very busy!  In case you missed it, Nate and I have been in Ontario for almost a month now and my Internet time and access has been somewhat limited.  Ok –  a lot limited!  I am going a little batty not having time to read all my favourite bloggers’ latest posts and wishing and wanting top update you on our latest activities.

Nate’s 9 month letter is written but I haven’t had tiem to add the necessary pics, so that will have to wait yet a few more days, too.

In the meantime, these are just a few of the things we’ve been keeping ourselves busy with:

  • Visiting lots of old pals from high school and university 
  • Hanging out with Nana and her puppies
  • seeing Daddy on the weekends
  • spending time at the family cottage in Muskoka…one of my favourite places in the world
  • watching thunderstorms roll in over rolling field of green corn and soy
  • chillin’ in the evening with Grandma and Grandpa C.
  • taking the Great Grandma’s out to lunch
  • and generally enjoying our time here!

Despite all the fun around here I am very ready to be home in my beautiful Comox again.  I miss my sister and my friends and of course my puppy.  Who has been sick BTW.  You can check out Gill’s post, but only if you don’t have a weak stomach!  I’m warning you the pictures are kind of graphic.

And I also wanted to share some exciting bloggy baby news that is a little over due.  Two new babies arrived last week over at Students of Life and Here’s Hoping.  Big congrats to Jackie and Lisa on Isaac and Ruby respectively.  The Campbell family wishes you and yours all the best in the coming weeks as you get used to life with a new family member!  Don’t forget to jot down all the important details…they slip from your mind faster than you can ever believe!

Anyway, I’m going to work on the picture issue right now…so hopefully you’ll have some gratuitous Nate pics again soon!  I know that Auntie Gill in particular has been waiting somewhat impatiently.

Today was a great way to end a good week.  The base where Dale is doing his training, 22 Wing North Bay had a 5 or 10 km “fun run” fitness challenge this morning and family members were welcome to participate.  So Nate and I decided it was a good idea 🙂

The cool part about the run was the it went down into what is known as “the hole”.  North Bay is one of the main operations centres for the northern NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence) region and the facilities which they used to operate out of were housed in an underground complex.  Due to increase in maintenance costs and changes to threats, they now operate out of a new building above ground on the base and I’m not sure what, if anything, the hole is being used for these days.   But today they opened up the first 300m of the tunnel that leads down into the hole for part of the fun run. 

And let me tell you…it was creepy.  We weren’t allowed to take the stroller down into it, so Dale waited up at the top for me.  I contend that he just didn’t want to do the hill (it was fairly steep).  What freaked me out even more was the fact that the Wing Commander advised us before hand that if the lights happened to go out while we were in the tunnel just to stand still and wait and not try to get out.  You can check out this article to get a better idea of what the hole was used for and why they’ve moved above ground, if you’re interested!

If those lights had gone out…I would have been pooping my pants!  Talk about potentially freaky!!  The walls are solid rock and there was water dripping everywhere.  But at least it was much cooler in the tunnel than it was above ground..not a hard feat considering it was about 23 degrees with about 90% humidity!

Anyway, I realize this probably isn’t the most exciting blog post of mine, and not what you’re usually used to or interested in reading, but I was just so stoked after the run that I had to share.  It was great to run with Dale (and a bonus that he pushed the stroller).  It was fun to have that race like setting (including the pre-race butterflies!!) even though it was all for fun.  And although the rolling course was challenging I finished in 36 minutes with only about 100m of walking after I finished the hill coming out of the tunnel.

It totally made me remember why I love to run.  Once you get past the pain it’s exhilarating. 

And right now North Bay, ON – despite the blackflies, mosquitos and random thunderstorms – is feeling a lot like home.  Sorry for being awol for a while  – but for anyone who didn’t know Nate and I flew back to Ontario last Thursday for a few weeks of rest, relaxation and visiting with Daddy and the G-parents. 

The flight was great and Nate did amazingly well yet again.  I was lucky enough to be travelling with my pal Rae-Lynn and her little man Logan – who was also a stellar traveller.  It was a long day but worth it in the end to finally be here.  Friday Nate and I headed north in our rented Dodge Charger (wicked car…not so wicked cost of gas!!) to find Daddy (aka Dale).  Another long day for Nate in his car seat and for me driving 400+ kilometres.  But worth it in the end to fall into Dale’s wating arms for a much-needed hug and kiss.  Ok kisses…but we won’t got into details here…

Anyway…suffice to say we’ve been having a wonderful time.  Not much of a chance to access a computer though for blogging and e-mailing, but it’s probably good for me. Right?  Proof that I am not, in fact, woefully addicted to my computer.  And that I can survive a few days without it. Right?

So if I haven’t commented on your blog or returned your e-mail or Facebook message…be sure that I will get to it.  Right after I take a few more sappy pictures of my son and his Daddy.  Cause you can never have too many of those 🙂

I think I’ve talked a bit about my new running/workout program before.  It started about 6 weeks ago (wow – has it really been that long??) when my good friend Laurel and I decided that we need to get back in shape for out impending PT tests.  We are both in the military and are both going back to work in July and will have to do our physical fitness testing sometime in late July/early August.

It’s nothing too crazy, but consists of a 20 metre shuttle run (aka beep test) where you run back and forth between two lines at increasingly faster intervals, push-ups, sit-ups and a grip strength test.  The standard for passing is quite reasonable, but both Laurel and I are aiming for the somewhat higher “exempt” level, which means you don’t have to do the test again for another 2 years.

And so far things have been going well (other than a few issues with my back (thanks to an ill-aligned post-pregnancy pelvis) and knees!).  Our running and our overall strength is definitely improving and I’m feeling more energetic and active.  It helps that the spring weather has finally arrived, too.

But what is the most exciting about this new running program is that somehow our little “group”  has grown from just Laurel and I to 8 moms and 10 kiddos in total!  All with running strollers and all with babes under a year –  plus a couple 3 year old thrown in for good measure!  It is such an awesome group and a real mix of military and non-military moms, which is always nice in my opinion.  It is such an energy booster to know that when I show up to run there will be other moms there.  Accountability to a group is a serious motivator when you may or may not have gotten a good nights’ sleep!

We typically run/walk close to 5km and do some strength and flexibility training along the way.  Laurel and I hired a personnel trainer – her name is Sarah and she runs a local compant called ELM and if you’re local I would highly recommend checking out some of her kick*ss programs – so we have a program set out for us and have been “teaching” (for lack of a better word) some of the exercises to our fellow moms.  It’s hard work for sure but a ton of fun too.  Since we run with jogging strollers I’m sure we’re quite a sight some days!  Of course some days are better than others for babies…somedays they are happy and smiley and some days they scream and while the whole way.  It certainly makes it interesting!

I realize this post doesn’t answer any of the awesome questions I’ve been asked (if you haven’t already asked one…be sure to comment on my last post!), but I just had to give kudos to my running pals for all their hard work and dedication and encouragement.  We are calling ourselves the “Yummy Mummy’s ” (long story) and hopefully by July we’ll all be in wicked shape 🙂   Laurel, Nicole, Jennifer, Kimberly, Nicole, Rae-Lynn and Nikki – you guys are the bomb!  Any other local Yummy Mummy’s should check out our Facebook group and let me know if you want to join us!

Today it’s time to indulge my heart and soul and share with you one of my favourite poems of all time. Somehwere in between loads of laundry, baskets of clean diapers, taking Nate to childminding, physio thereapy for my aching non-athletic body and a stack of dishes waiting to be washed there has to be some time for me. Pure and simple. Hopefully you too can take a moment, sit down with a hot cuppa joe or steaming herbal tea – whatever you fancy – and delight in the written word.

I used to adore reading poetry and I was known to write some now and again. But that was a long time ago…before I became an adult and the trappings of adult life took over. I don’t read nearly as often as I should or as often as I would like, and when I do, a book of poetry is no longer what I gravitate towards. Except for today. In honour of National Poetry Month, I am going to participate in Megan’s bloggy poetry reading and share with you the some of the best of Robert Frost:

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I can’t imagine anyone not having read this poem before. Perhaps it’s a little bit cliché that such a famous poem is my favourite, but the words jsut speak so clearly to me. Every time I read it I get this fabulous picture in my head of a fork in the road and two paths leading onward in different directions. The leaves, the grass, the sun shinging through the tree tops – it is such a vivid image in my mind.

I love the line “and knowing how way leads on to way” – doesn’t that just sum up life to a tee? I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought, “It’s ok…I’ll do *this* now and come back to *that* later”. But “later” there is always another *this* and rarely do I get back to *that*. Sometimes it makes me sad, but life goes on and the reality is we simply can’t do everything. Choices are a must.

I also like to think that I often take the path less traveled, but I’m pretty sure I’m more of a lemming than I prefer to admit to myself. Of course there have been times in my life when I have chosen a different course than the majority of others might have, but I rarely stop long enough to think what difference those choices have made in my life. Because, like I said, there is always another load of laundry, another basket of diapers, Nate to pick up from childminding, and a stack of dishes waiting for me in the kitchen.

I’d love to hear about your favourite poems – or perhaps one of you is braver than I and willing to share some original work. If you do post on poetry, be sure to add your name to the Mr. Linky over at Sorta Crunchy! At the very least, pull out a copy of your favourite poem today and spend at least a few minutes reflecting. For your heart and soul.

Thought I’d share with you the Earth Day activities around here! After almost a week of unseasonably cold weather today was finally a wonderful sunny spring day. Despite my rotten head cold Nate and I boogied on down to the Airpark (paved trail around the local airstrip) for a run/circuit training session. As it turned out Laurel and I seemed to have inspired a bunch of other new moms to get up and get moving too and there were 6 moms and 7 kids there this morning, including 2 first time postpartum runners. It was great to see so many people out and it’s definitely very motivating to have so many others watching me. Everyone did very well and we all enjoyed the sunshine, fresh air and ocean views! Laurel and I finished off the workout with a trip to Starbucks where we used our reusable mugs 🙂

After lunch when I put Nate down for his nap I continued to take advantage of the beautiful day and went out into the garden to get things ready for the season. All the weeds and remnants from last year’s crop have now been removed and the soil is all prepped for this year’s planting. Now anyone who knows me very well, might be wondering why I am yet again attempting to grow things. My track record is not so great! But Dale’s garden last year was so wonderful and I was so sad that he wouldn’t be here this year to have one again that I decided to give it a go myself. Before you go shaking your head….I’m going to go easy. Only a 4′ X 4′ bed and only lettuce and spinach for my green smoothies. Best to start small I figure.

Below is my daily pic from Saturday. We purchased our seeds for my garden from Good Earth Farms (in Black Creek for you local folk). I worked with the owners, Heather and Simon at the Nordic Lodge on Mt Washington for two years and love stopping by their booth at the local farmer’s market lately. If you are local you should definitely check them out the next time you are at the market. You can also check out their website here. It’s fabulous to be able to buy quality organic produce in season and support local farmers. I know Heather and Simon both work incredibly hard and take great pride in their crops and customer service.

Later today I have another walk planned with my sister and then it’s off to agility with Turner this evening. That should round out a pretty active Earth Day. I do wish that my day didn’t need to include as much driving, but today it was somewhat unavoidable.

I’d also like to point you to some interesting places on the net I’ve been to lately. First, on the Earth Day topic, Crunchy Chicken had a great post yesterday lamenting the commercial vibe of Earth Day this year which you should definitely check out. I also found an interesting blog called Pediascribe after Karen commented on my giveaway post (which you should check out here if you haven’t already). Pediascribe is the blog for Pediacast, which is a podcast about parenting issues. I’m listening to one on car seat safety as I type and it’s really good and very informative. You can download them through iTunes if you’re interested.

So, that’s all the news from me. How did you spend your Earth Day?